The volcanic YASAWA ISLANDS attract thousands of visitors, drawn to their dramatic jagged peaks, tranquil bays and stunning beaches. Connected by a fast daily catamaran service from Nadi, the islands are easy to hop between and have developed into a popular backpacker trail.
The group of thirty islands has three distinct zones. Kuata, Wayasewa and Waya, in the southern part, are similar in nature to the outer Mamanucas, with high mountain peaks, dramatic rock faces and fantastic walking tracks. These three islands are the closest to the mainland, only two hours by fast catamaran, and are by far the most interesting to visit, with deep bays and pretty villages providing regular stops for overnight cruises. To the north is the largest island in the group, Naviti, with rolling grassy hills and a dozen small offshore islands where manta rays congregate between May and October. Fifteen minutes’ sailing north of Naviti are the northern Yasawas, home to a cluster of budget resorts and three super-exclusive retreats.